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CPSI Share                                                  
1/5/2014 5:00 PM

​​​​The Manitoba Institute for Patient Safety (MIPS) has made a mark in shaping the patient safety landscape in the province of Manitoba over the last decade. As Executive Director of MIPS, Laurie Thompson has seen many changes in patient safety and quality improvement, both provincially and nationally, and continues to be energized by the extent of expertise that is growing across the country.

Laurie credits their 34 member organizations that help MIPS spread their work across the province. “We are very fortunate to have been able to forge these relationships and have their involvement in advancing patient safety,” says Laurie. “These organizations have been so responsive and are the true champions in leveraging connections and support at a grassroots level.”

The Canadian Patient Safety Institute and MIPS have developed a strong partnership and collaborated on several projects over the past year. “The Canadian Patient Safety Institute has been an amazing partner in our patient safety journey,” says Laurie Thompson.  “The talent and expertise we can draw from, and the resources available, are second to none.  The Safety Competencies and the Governance Program are two of the many tools that we have incorporated into our work.”

MIPS continue to lead and partner on major provincial initiatives. For example, the Interprofessional Patient Safety and Quality Working Group at the University of Manitoba is Co-Chaired by Laurie Thompson. Their purpose is to develop, implement and evaluate interprofessional learning opportunities relevant to safety and quality; and to promote consistent safety and quality concepts and principles in the relevant curricula of all participating academic faculties. The Working Group is looking for alignment with leading quality and/or patient safety frameworks and principles, such as the Canadian Patient Safety Institute’s Safety Competencies Framework.

Governance was a second area of focus in 2013.  In October, MIPS sponsored a half-day Effective Governance session specific to patient safety to Board members recently appointed to the five newly merged Regional Health Authorities (RHAs) in Manitoba and Diagnostic Services of Manitoba. The session was based on the Canadian Patient Safety Institute’s Effective Governance for Patient Safety and Quality Improvement program. Board member representatives from participating organizations were provided an overview of the patient safety roles, skills and knowledge that is required in their oversight role.   

Most recently, MIPS developed an innovative virtual resource for pharmacists in collaboration with the Canadian Patient Safety Institute, the Institute for Safe Medication Practices-Canada (ISMP-Canada), and the Manitoba Pharmaceutical Association.  The Learn to be Safe - Medication Safety:  A Guide for Pharmacists  helps pharmacists and other healthcare providers to plan, create and deliver effective, customizable presentations, discussion groups or workshops aimed at talking with patients and their families on ways to improve medication safety. CancerCare Manitoba contributed content and tools to help patients and families living with cancer use cancer medications safely at home.

The Guide includes supplemental content to deliver more focused discussions on medication safety for children and teens, when travelling, when using high alert medications, for seniors, and when using cancer medications in the home.  The Guide contains key messages and encourages pharmacists to use patient stories that illustrate what the patient and family is faced with in terms of safe medication practices.

“The Learn to be Safe Guide for Pharmacists was fun  to develop,” says Laurie.  We tried to put ourselves in the public’s shoes as we created scenarios and the reaction we have received has been excellent. The concept of having a ready-made resource has been much appreciated and the pharmacist organizations have been very supportive in the development of the Guide.”

MIPS is also working to determine the best ways to spread the patient safety message to the public through focus testing and involving a professional marketer. “Although we believe that everyone is responsible for patient safety, we want to target who we need to reach and figure out the best approach to take”, says Laurie.

As 2014 marks the 10th Anniversary of the Manitoba Institute for Patient Safety, an educational workshop is being planned in conjunction with the MIPS Annual Meeting, on Monday, May 26, 2014 at the St. Boniface Research Centre.  The “Growing the Legacy” program promises to be an informative afternoon to celebrate the milestone.  Guest speakers include the Honourable Justice Murray Sinclair, Chair of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, who presided over the Pediatric Cardiac Surgery Inquest in Manitoba; Mr. Hugh MacLeod, CEO of the Canadian Patient Safety Institute, and; Mr. Terry MacLeod, host of CBC’s Radio One Weekend Morning Show in Winnipeg, who will share his personal experience as a self-professed, mostly reluctant, “frequent flyer” in Manitoba’s healthcare system.

For more information on the Manitoba Institute for Patient Safety, visit the newly updated website